Cliches: Over 1500 Phrases Explored and Explained

Overview

Betty Kirkpatrick has complied and exhaustive dictionary—a must for writers, crossword puzzle buffs, and anyone who is intrigued by language.

Sample entries from Cliches

Let the cat out of the bag is an idiom cliche meaning to reveal a secret. In origin it refers allegedly to a fairground tick by which traders sold unwary buyers a cat in a bag, assuring them it was a pig. The buyers did not realize their ...

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Overview

Betty Kirkpatrick has complied and exhaustive dictionary—a must for writers, crossword puzzle buffs, and anyone who is intrigued by language.

Sample entries from Cliches

Let the cat out of the bag is an idiom cliche meaning to reveal a secret. In origin it refers allegedly to a fairground tick by which traders sold unwary buyers a cat in a bag, assuring them it was a pig. The buyers did not realize their mistake until they let the cat out of the back, by which time it was too late.

Bite the bullet is an idiom cliche meaning to steel oneself to accept something distressing. In origin it probably refers to the days before anesthesia, when soldiers wounded in battle were given a lead bullet to bite on to brace themselves against the pain of surgery.

Fly off the handle is an idiom cliche meaning to lose one's temper. Originally American, the expression has its origin in an ax or hammer, the handle of which becomes loosened and flies off after it has struck a blow.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312198442
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 684,869
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Betty Kirkpatrick is a writer and lexicographer. Editor of both the Bloomsbury Thesaurus and Roget's Thesaurus, she was formerly editor of the Chambers Twentieth-Century Dictionary. She lives in Scotland.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2001

    The die hath been cast

    I have never read a book before so this review may not mean anything. However, if I were to read a book it would be this one. Be that as it may, I love cliches and cliches love me. I don't want to burn any bridges, but let's let bygones be bygones. This book is one you will love to hate. With this book you mess with the bull and get the horns smack dab in your funny bone. thank you, goodnight. -accredited journalist J.W.Oswald from the accredited E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at accredited Ohio University.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    Perfection!

    Cliches at their finest. This book can take care of hours of fun with your friends and or foes. Flipping through the pages in this work of art is like taking large step into a whole other world. Is the word cliche a cliche? You make the call in this one of a kind, top knotch, out of this world keeper. This one will never gather dust on the shelf, but your loved one might while you are cuddled up late at night with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

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